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Taiwan to form new research agency

16th October 2016 - 17:13 by Charles Au in Taipei

Taiwan to form new research agency

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that a new agency will be created in 2017 to integrate private sector and military research and development (R&D). The primary mission is to develop a submarine-building capacity and focus on asymmetric warfare development.

The agency will replicate the idea behind the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and it will be named the National Defense Technology Division.

It will be upgraded at some point to become the National Defense Technology Office, a special departmental-level establishment. This new office will be under the direct jurisdiction of the MND.

A source told Shephard, on condition of anonymity, that the budget will be the vital element as there is official indifference to providing this agency sufficient funds to perform the necessary R&D. The office will receive NT$3 billion (US$94.9 million) in its initial year.

Taiwan already has three long-standing agencies in charge of separate equipment developments. The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology (NCSIST) develops aeronautics, missiles/rockets, combat systems, information and communications, chemicals, materials, electro-optics and electronic systems.

Secondly, the Armaments Bureau manufactures small arms, heavy weapons, artillery, etc. Finally, the Ordnance Readiness Development Center focuses on armoured vehicles and tanks.

A civilian will act as director of the new agency, with a major general or rear admiral to assist in managing the institution.

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